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Originally published September 7, 2012 at 1:03 AM | Page modified September 7, 2012 at 2:00 PM

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Washington State Book Award winners announced

The 2012 Washington State Book Award winners include Seattle authors Peter Mountford, Christine Deavel, Erik Larson and Katherine Schlick Noe; Spokane's Paul Lindholdt; and Olympia's Nikki McClure.

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Lit life |

The 2012 Washington State Book Awards have been announced, putting the spotlight on six outstanding books by the state's authors. This year's crop of prize-winning books includes a debut novel about a duplicitous young man who capitalizes on political change in South America, Seattle author Erik Larson's harrowing history of a pivotal year during Hitler's takeover of Germany, and a children's book that celebrates our state's robust farmers-market culture.

Here are the winners:


"A Young Man's Guide to Late Capitalism" by Peter Mountford (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). Mountford's novel follows a flawed anti-hero as he follows the election of a new president of Bolivia. He says he's a journalist, but he may be something else altogether. "The book lives up — brilliantly, scathingly — to its title, as it explores the tricky junctures where American power collides with Third World native interest," said the Seattle Times review.

Mountford, a Ballard resident, is currently a writer-in-residence at Seattle's Richard Hugo House.


"Woodnote" by Christine Deavel (Bear Star Press). Deavel's poetry collection incorporates the poet's memories of small-town life in the Midwest, diaries and the loss of family members. Deavel is co-owner of the Wallingford bookstore Open Books: A Poem Emporium.


"In Earshot of Water: Notes from the Columbia Plateau" by Paul Lindholdt (University of Iowa Press). Lindholt, a Spokane resident, writes about the Columbia plateau, drawing inspiration from his own wanderings, the journals of Lewis and Clark, the logs of Captain James Cook, and Bureau of Reclamation records, says the publisher.

History/general nonfiction

"In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin" by Erik Larson (Crown). Seattle author Larson's latest best-seller follows an American family thrust into the nightmare of 1933-1934 Berlin, as Hitler consolidates his hold on Germany.

Scandiuzzi Children's Book Award

"To Market, To Market" by Nikki McClure (Abrams). Olympia artist McClure, who constructs amazing images with colorful paper cuts, makes a book for children about farmers markets, both the food and the people who produce and sell it.

"Something to Hold" by Katherine Schlick Noe (Clarion Books). Seattle resident Noe writes the story of a young white girl who moves to an Oregon Indian reservation in 1962, and finds her place in a very different culture. (For 10- to 18-year-old readers.) Noe, who teaches at Seattle University, says she based the book on her own childhood experiences living on Indian reservations in Washington and Oregon.

The Washington State Book Awards are sponsored by the Washington Center for the Book at the Seattle Public Library. Winners receive a $300 honorarium. A party to celebrate the winners and finalists will take place at 7 p.m. Oct. 3 at Richard Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave., Seattle. The event is free and open to the public. For more about the winners and complete lists of finalists, go to

Mary Ann Gwinn: 206-464-2357 or Gwinn appears every Tuesday on TVW's "Well Read," discussing books with host Terry Tazioli (go to for archived episodes). On Twitter @gwinnma.

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